Repeated drug use affects the brain in many ways. When casual drug use develops into an addiction, it can be difficult to admit your need for treatment and recovery. Successful recovery does not come from forced treatment, but from your willingness to achieve—and sustain—sobriety.
Many factors may stand in the way of your decision to seek help. Whether it is the stigma associated with addiction and treatment, fear of shame or embarrassment from coming clean to loved ones, or general overwhelming feelings at the thought of committing to treatment, finding treatment poses many challenges.
No matter where you are at in life or your recovery journey, the best time to seek help for addiction is now. Not tomorrow, not next week, but right at this very moment. You deserve to live free from the stranglehold of addiction and to do that, you must believe that you deserve it yourself.
Learning How to Accept Help
No matter the reason, asking for help can make you feel needy. When it comes to mental health, rarely do people feel comfortable opening up about their struggles to others because of the fear of judgment or embarrassment. Often, the main thing that holds you back from asking for help from others is first accepting that you need help.
Society preaches the importance of being independent as if you should be able to handle everything without help from others. News and media often encourage people to believe they should be able to go about life without assistance. This circulated opinion is exactly what creates negative stigmas that surround mental illness and mental health treatment.
The reality is that humans are not meant to live life alone. Social support is essential for physical and mental well-being, including in recovery. If you are not ready to go through treatment, reach out to a loved one and initiate a conversation about mental health. You may not be ready to accept help, but normalizing conversations surrounding help or mental health can ease you into the idea that you can rely on others to lift you when you need help.
Becoming Educated About Addiction
If you’re reluctant to go through treatment because you think you should be able to recover from addiction alone, you may not understand the nature of addiction.
Substance use disorders and addiction can occur to anyone, at any age, no matter how long a person has been using substances. Mild addictions can be resolved through outpatient programs, whereas severe addictions may require residential inpatient treatment to achieve long-term recovery. By knowing where you stand with your addiction, you can be more prepared for what treatment program may best fit your needs.
Addiction is not an easy thing to live with, as it can interfere with all areas of your functioning. If you are contemplating treatment for yourself or a loved one, it may help to become familiar with some warning signs that may hint at the increasing need for treatment. Some warning signs include:
- Increasing risk-taking behavior
- Neglecting responsibilities
- Drop-in attendance and performance at work or school
- Legal troubles associated with substance use
- Increased irritability, mood swings, or discontent with life
- Increased anxiety when not using substances
- Increased aggression or anger with or without the use of substances
- Becoming physically or mentally dependent on a substance to feel pleasure or contentment
Another important thing to understand about the nature of addiction is that addiction is characterized by a loss of control over substance use. If you believe that you can manage your substance use on your own, you may be dealing with a measure of denial.
Once you have lost control over substance use, it is unlikely that you will be able to regain self-control unless the substance is cut out of your life. This is not just a mental game, but a physical one too. Your brain communicates to your body to use or drink again because it may come to associate substance use with pleasure and contentment that nothing else brings.
When Should I Start to Seek Help?
The best time to seek help for addiction is now. It is so easy to procrastinate getting help, especially when you have so many other things keeping you busy. While you will always be able to come up with excuses or reasons to put off seeking help, you have to learn to put yourself—and your recovery—first in your life.
Waiting until your addiction or substance use becomes severe will only make treatment and recovery even more challenging. Addiction is progressive, meaning it only worsens over time.
Take advantage of the treatment resources available in your community and seek help today. Reach out to local treatment facilities, therapists, friends, and other loved ones to learn more about what a manageable treatment journey could look like. There is no better time than right now to put yourself and your recovery at the highest priority in your life.
Addiction can make you lose a sense of control. If you believe that it is time to take control back in your life, then the right time to get help is right now. Asking for help is a normal part of life, and it is essential to achieve long-term recovery from addiction. Becoming familiar with the process of addiction and recovery can make the treatment process seem more manageable. Pacific Sands Recovery Center is a residential treatment center that is devoted to providing professional, effective and individualized treatment to all clients. We believe that education is a necessary part of the healing process, which can help people to live their lives without judgment for themselves or others during their recovery journey. You deserve a new life, free from the ties of addiction. If you’ve wondered if it’s too late or too soon to get treatment, know that there’s no better time than the present. For more information, call (714) 492-1119.